About BYL

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The Bangladesh Youth League (BYL) was established by a group of friends on 12th August 1979 and has been based at a succession of different venues. In 1993 the organisation moved to 13 Hazelbury Crescent, Luton, a house which had been extended with two large rooms at the back, but as the organisation grew and further projects were developed more space was required.

A successful lottery bid in 1995 enabled BYL to buy the derelict industrial site which was to become the Centre for Youth and Community Development (CYCD). After some preliminary work the organisation moved to CYCD in October 1996.

Grants from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) formerly English Partnerships and the National Lottery Community Fund (now Big Lottery) provided the means to refurbish our main, two-storey, building. This was completed in 2001.

Another successful bid for European money to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF objective 2) match funded by Single Regeneration Budget (SRB 6) enabled us to build the single storey Community Economic Development Centre (CEDC) which was completed in 2004.

We had earlier turned the 2nd World War air-raid shelter into a functioning office and demolished 4 rusting 1st World War Nissen Huts.

CYCD took another big step forward on 6th July 2012 with the opening of their new Centre McKenzie House at Leagrave Road. It was opened by CYCD’s patron Lord McKenzie of Luton, who has big hand in helping to establish the organisation in its modern form more than 20 years ago.

 The Centre for Youth and Community Development (CYCD) is a community centre run for the benefit of ALL local people. It provides enormous benefits to the diverse communities of the Luton area. The Centre provides basic services like feeding the elderly and childcare as well as educational programmes and leisure activities for underprivileged young people. The Centre really is at the very heart of the local community and is a vital resource for the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the young.

Aims and Objectives

Establishing and maintaining a community centre to improve the conditions of life for those who need it most by:

  • Providing facilities and services for the most disadvantaged members of the community.
  • Serving as a meeting place for young people.
  • Facilitating services for elderly and/or disabled members of the community.
  • Providing leisure activities for those who need them.

Service Users

CYCD offers comprehensive services and is now a large-scale Centre offering employment and volunteering experience to many local people. The projects and services run at CYCD directly reach over 4000 local people of all ages per year.  Their ethnicity reflects the composition of the local community and includes Bangladeshis, Sylhetis, Pakistanis, Azad Kashmiris, Indian, Somalis, Polish (and other central Europeans), African-Caribbeans and many others.

Projects at CYCD

  • Little Stars Pre-School
  • Education & Training Courses
  • Welfare Advice Session (Every Tuesday in partnership with Luton Advice Network)
  • Youth Provision – Youth Clubs for Boys and Girls
  • Bhandhob Luncheon Club – Health & Wellbeing Club
  • Access Disability Project (ADP)
  • Homework Support Club
  • Crescent Summer School Project
  • Rongdhonu Bangla School
  • Asian Carers Support Services
Achievements and Track Record
1979
  • Saturday BYL established
1989
  • First office premises
1990
  • Establishment of Bengali Women’s Project
  • Founded Crescent Summer School Project
1991
  • Youth exchange to Bangladesh
1992
  • Founded  new  centre ‘Crescent House’ Section 11 Project
1993
  • European Social Fund Project
1994
  • Bedfordshire TEC Equal Opp. Award Bedfordshire TEC Individual Contributions Award – Former Chairperson
1995
  • John Chatterley Award for CSSPTES Recommended Project ‘CSSP’ Overall winner of Whitbread National Volunteer Action Award – General Secretary Successful bid to NLCB
1996
  • NLCB Project ‘CYCD’ Workshop on volunteering presented by BYL in Cape Town, South Africa
1997
  • The Phillip Lawrence Awards 1997 – CSSP Youth Exchange to Bangladesh
1998
  • Bangladesh after School Educational Support Service (BASESS) Befriending Advocacy & Counselling Services for Bangladeshi Young Women (BACS)
1999
  • HAZ – Funding for ADIBOP
2000
  • Phase two of the Development of CYCD – successful bid to the National Lottery Charities Board (NLCB) & East of England Development Agency for the Refurbishment of the Main Building
2001
  • SRB-6 installed new CCTV camera Winner of Griffin Award – Crime Prevention Highly recommended project by the Association of High Sheriffs Youth Exchange to Bangladesh
2002
  • Little Stars Preschool, Outside play area  (funded by SRB-6)Luncheon Clubs Patio seating area for older people (funded by SRB-6)
2003
  • Main Building re-named ‘Kabi Nazrul Building’ and officially opened in May
2006
  • CSSP received Best of Luton Awards 2006 in recognition of the valuable contribution, success and achievement in 2005.
2011
  • CYCD received Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities Project Award 2010/2011 in recognition of achievement and success
  • Access Disability Project (ADP) received Community Award 2012 under Service with a Smile Category
  • CYCD volunteers received Diana Champion Volunteer Award
  • CSSP received Community Award 2011
2012 2013
  • Access Disability Project (ADP) received Community Award 2012 under Service with a Smile Category
  • CYCD open new Centre called McKenzie House at Leagrave Road
  • Little Stars Preschool re-located at newly refurbished McKenzie House
  • Little Stars Preschool officially opened 2 year olds child care provision  at newly built extension at McKenzie House
  • CYCD received Bedfordshire and Luton Community Learning Trust Community Learning Fund Award in recognition of achievement and success of Projects: ICT For All (Age: 50 years+) and  First Steps to Learning